a thing of beauty

We’ve all had them: those annoying students who arrive to class late, leave early, fall asleep during lectures, and step out of tests so that they can get a big gulp from the local 7-11.* We put up with this bad behavior largely because it comes with the academic territory. Sometimes, though, our less than ideal students choose to chastise us for not allowing them to be even more less than ideal. And sometimes, just sometimes, one of us responds in a way so beautiful, you just have to be impressed. This is one of those times.

I have no idea if Scott Galloway is taking and heat from his department over this. If so, I for one just want to commend him for his upholding of academic standards, his candor, and his eloquence. And for those of you at work who can’t take the time to listen to the above,** the short version is as follows: student comes to class an hour late, professor asks student to leave, student e-mails professor some ways that he (the professor) could improve his demeanor, professor responds:

Thanks for the feedback. I, too, would like to offer some feedback: Get your $%^* together.

There is a baseline level of decorum that we expect of tomorrow’s business leaders: getting a good job, working long hours, keeping your skills relevant, navigating the politics of an organization, finding a life-work balance. These are all really hard.

In contrast, respecting institutions, having manners, demonstrating a level of humility, these are all relatively easy. Get the easy stuff right.

In and of themselves, they will not make you successful. However, not possessing them will hold you back, and you will not achieve your potential, which you must have in spades. It’s not too late.

Again, thanks for the feedback.

You go, Scott.

* This last bit is not a joke. It is, in fact, a true story.

** I mean the story I linked to above. There's an audio version which is, in a word, awesome.

As a related side note: does anyone know why wordpress eats the NPR embedded player?

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